Rumbek Jur flute

Rumbek Jur flute
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] ?Western Bahr el Ghazal ?Warab Kornuk
Cultural Group:
Rumbek Jur
Date Made:
By 1933
Bamboo Plant , Grass Fibre Plant , Resin Plant?
Carved , Hollowed , Perforated , Notched , Plugged , Twisted Tied
L = 578; proximal end diam = 29.5 x 25, embouchure = 25 x 24; finger-hole diam = 7; L from edge lowest hole to distal end = 102; distal end hole diam = 11; cord W = 2 mm [RTS 9/9/2005].
82 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife on 25th May 1933 during a shooting expedition
Field Collector:
Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton & Hannah Powell-Cotton (nee Brayton)
PRM Source:
Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton
Donated 1934
Collected Date:
25th May 1933
Notched end-blown flute carved from a length of yellowish orange segmented bamboo (Pantone 7511C). This consists of a flat-topped embouchure with a deep, v-shaped notch cut into the side, on a hollow cylindrical body with four circular finger-holes along the length. These are arranged in 2 groups of 2. The edges of the embouchure and holes have scorched surfaces, suggesting they were formed using a heated tool. A flat disc, pierced through the centre, has been inserted into the base of the flute to narrow the opening, and fixed in place using a dark brown material, possibly resinous (Pantone Black 7C). The surface of this disc is covered with two groups of parallel lines, that tool marks or deliberate decoration. A small suspension loop has been fitted around the body, near the distal end; this is made from a length of 2-ply twisted grass fibre cord (Pantone 7509C), wound twice around the circumference, tied, and then the loose ends knotted together to form a short loop, 20 mm long. The flute is complete, but has a number of cracks down the length; there is also some red surface staining in patches over the surface, particularly in the lower part, some of which occur as faint bands around the circumference and which may have rubbed onto the surface from some kind of former binding or cord. It has a weight of 82 grams and is 578 mm long. The proximal end has a diameter of 29.5 by 28 mm, while the embouchure opening measures 25 by 24 mm in diameter; the finger-holes have a diameter of 7 mm; the edge of the lowest finger-hole is 102 mm from the distal end, and the hole through that end has a diameter of 11 mm. The cord is 2 mm wide.

Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife Hannah at Kornuk on 25th May 1933 during a shooting expedition. The Jur name for this object is

For a lightweight end-blown flute of similar design, attributed to the Southern Larim, see 1979.20.175.

Rachael Sparks 19/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 248] 1934 [insert] 8 [end insert] - MAJOR P. H. G. POWELL-COTTON , Quex Park, Birchington, E. Kent. Specimens collected by himself & Mrs Cotton, during hunting trips, 1933, viz: [...] [p. 258] - From the JUR tribe, LUKLUN and KORNUK. [...] [insert] 105 [end insert] - Ternyo , notched end-flute of stout reed stem with four stops & perforated plugging-disc at distal end. KORNUK (2683).
Additional accession book entry [p. 257] - 1934.8.105. Number given HLR.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribes catalogue card [RTS 27/4/2004].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - ternjo , notched end-flute. JUR tribe, KORNUK, BAHR-EL-GEBEL, E. SUDAN. 7° 53' N., 28° 9' E. Major Powell-Cotton, 1934 (2683) [paper label stuck to surface of object; RTS 9/9/2005].

Related Documents File - Typewritten List of "Curios Presented to Dr. Balfour by Major & Mrs. Powell-Cotton. Jur Tribe". This object appears as item 2683: "Bamboo flute, 1'11". 4 notes, native name Ternjo , 25/5/33 Kornuk, 7.53 N 28.9 E”. Also contains details of a cine film 'some tribes of the Southern Sudan', taken by Powell-Cotton during this 1933 expedition, copies of which are now in the National Film and Television Archive and the Powell-Cotton Museum in Kent [RTS 14/3/2005].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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